Patient Preferences Regarding Informed Consent Models for Participation in a Learning Health Care System for Oncology
Rochelle D. Jones, Chris Krenz, Michele Gornick, Kent A. Griffith, Rebecca Spence, Angela R. Bradbury, Raymond De Vries, Sarah T. Hawley, Rodney A. Hayward, Robin Zon, Sage Bolte, Navid Sadeghi, Richard L. Schilsky, Reshma Jagsi
JCO Oncology Practice, 30 April 2020
The expansion of learning health care systems (LHSs) promises to bolster research and quality improvement endeavors. Stewards of patient data have a duty to respect the preferences of the patients from whom, and for whom, these data are being collected and consolidated.
We conducted democratic deliberations with a diverse sample of 217 patients treated at 4 sites to assess views about LHSs, using the example of CancerLinQ, a real-world LHS, to stimulate discussion. In small group discussions, participants deliberated about different policies for how to provide information and to seek consent regarding the inclusion of patient data. These discussions were recorded, transcribed, and de-identified for thematic analysis.
Of participants, 67% were female, 61% were non-Hispanic Whites, and the mean age was 60 years. Patients’ opinions about sharing their data illuminated 2 spectra: trust/distrust and individualism/collectivism. Positions on these spectra influenced the weight placed on 3 priorities: promoting societal altruism, ensuring respect for persons, and protecting themselves. In turn, consideration of these priorities seemed to inform preferences regarding patient choices and system transparency. Most advocated for a policy whereby patients would receive notification and have the opportunity to opt out of including their medical records in the LHS. Participants reasoned that such a policy would balance personal protections and societal welfare.
System transparency and patient choice are vital if patients are to feel respected and to trust LHS endeavors. Those responsible for LHS implementation should ensure that all patients receive an explanation of their options, together with standardized, understandable, comprehensive materials.
Editor’s note: JCO Oncology Practice is an American Society of Clinical Oncology Journal.